Lionel ASBO, by Martin Amis

Lionel ASBOThis is satire, and it bites hard. Lionel ASBO ( his surname stands for Anti-Social Behaviour Order) is possibly the nastiest, least likeable, most unlikely to improve, most threatening, most hate-filled and saddest character ever created. He is a masterpiece of degeneracy, violence and perversion. Yet, very subtly, he knows it. It kills him. This novel makes fun of today’s England, and I got the horrible suspicion that the whole thing is plausible, possible and not very far from the truth. The England created by Amis is a hell-hole. Is it too much, too fierce, too unremittingly noir? Perhaps. But there are moments when Amis lightens up makes “Lionel” realize his limitations, depicting him momentarily as an object of pity and shame…(Continue reading…)

 

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